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The Kenyan Food Retail Sector
This report focuses on the wholesale and retail of food in Kenya, a sector that is dominated by the informal sector. An estimated 70% of trade is conducted through more than 120,000 traditional small stores, street vendors and unregulated markets. The formal sector makes up the remaining 30% of the market and is dominated by four local retail chains which own more than 400 stores and generated revenue of more than US$1.3bn in 2015.
Although only 30% of retail sales take place in formal outlets, Kenya is the second most formalised African country in terms of retail penetration after South Africa. The country is also the fastest growing retail market in Africa, and per capita spend on groceries is expected to increase to US$330 by 2020. As Kenya is a gateway to the other countries in the East African Community (EAC) which has a combined total population of 120 million people, foreign retail chains are eager to break into the Kenyan market. Market leader Nakumatt believes there is potential for retail revenue of US$7bn. Kenya’s online retail offering also shows potential and is growing in line with Kenya having one of the most advanced mobile payments platforms in the world. Of a population of more than 47 million in 2016, an estimated 26 million Kenyans make use of mobile money systems.
The Kenyan Food Retail report examines current conditions and developments in the industry, including the entrance of foreign retailers such as South Africa’s Massmart chain Game and French giant Carrefour through a franchising agreement with Dubai-based franchisee Majid al Futtaim. Profiles are provided for the four major supermarket chains, Nakumatt, Tuskys, Naivas and Uchumi. The only listed company, Uchumi, reported an annual loss of Sh3.6bn in 2014/15 and had to close its loss-making Ugandan subsidiary and retrench more than half its workforce.